SVG: JUSTICE COMPROMISED – THE YUGGE FARRELL SAGA

 The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of    NEWS784. Send all articles to newsroom@784news.com                                                                      

                                                                            Matthew Thomas, 05/02/2018

Under the Ralph Gonsalves led ULP Administration, “Justice is never seen to be done”. Like so many before, the Yugge Farrell ongoing saga has raised the question in the minds of too many: Where is justice?

The sequence of events is that in less than twenty-four hours of the alleged offense, 23 yr old Yugge Farrell on Friday 5, January, 2018, was brought before Magistrate, Bertie Pompey, with the charge that on Thursday, January, 4, 2018, she went to the workplace of Karen Duncan Gonsalves, Senior Counsel, in the Ministry of Legal Affairs, causing a breach of the peace by referring to Mrs Duncan Gonsalves as a “dirty bitch”.

Duncan-Gonsalves is the wife of Camilo Gonsalves, Minister of Finance. Camilo Gonsalves is the son of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, Minister of Legal Affairs.

Speaking on several Interactive Radio Programmes, Prime Minister Gonsalves is alleged to have referred to Yugge Farrel as crazy and that she had gone to his daughter-in-law’s office to deliver a blackmail letter, pregnant with a lot of nasty things. The contents of the letter were not made public. Among other things PM Gonsalves is reported to have said are: (1) He has advised his son Camilo to maintain a “dignified silence” and

 (2) “The Magistrate can decide to commit someone to the psychiatric hospital based on information that the prosecutors give to the Magistrate outside of the court proceedings and which is not disclosed to either the defendant or her  lawyer.”

At her arraignment on January 5, 2018, Yugge, who is being represented by lawyer Grant Connell, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Without any supporting evidence or any visible sign of misbehaviour by Miss Farrell, the prosecuting officer, Police Constable, Corleen Samuel requested that Miss Farrell be sent to the Mental Hospital for observation.

Amidst strong objections from the defendant’s lawyer, the Magistrate nonetheless ordered that Miss Farrell be admitted to the Mental Hospital for a period of 17 days to return to court on the 22nd January, 2018. Farrell left the court under heavy police guard and was so guarded during her stay at the Mental Hospital.

On 22/01/2018, when Miss Farrell was taken to Court, she was met by a different Magistrate, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett, who with the support of a medical report,  recommitted Miss Farrell to the Mental Health Hospital for a further seven days.

On returning to court on 29/01/2018, Farrell was met with the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Collin Williams, as the prosecuting officer and an addition to her defence team, QC Andrew Pilgrim from Barbados.

According to the SEARCHLIGHT of 30/01/2018, a new medical report advised that Miss Farrell be discharged from the Hospital and receive outpatient care instead.

When defense counsel raised the question of bail, the DPP, Collin Williams said: “If the magistrate wishes to give bail and terms are set, I think we can all be happy that the matter is to be addressed in terms of treatment.”

Burnett obliged with the request saying: “I am minded to grant the defendant bail in the sum of $ 1 000.00 with one surety and to adjourn this matter to the 17th of December, 2018.” (SEARCHLIGHT, 30/01/2018)

What was not brought before the court is that Yugge, twenty-one yrs, Camilo Gonsalves’ junior, has alleged that she has had an extramarital relationship with him which ended in 2016?

To date, Camilo has not responded to Yugge’s claim, even amidst calls from various sectors of the Vincentian Community, among them, the Leader of Opposition NDP Party.

Among the many questions right-minded people are asking are:

  1. If in less than twenty hours of committing a crime, how then can she be held responsible if she is pronounced to be crazy?
  2. Why was the seventeen days incarceration decided by the magistrate without the support of psychiatric evidence?
  3. It is well known in medical circles that improperly administered psychoactive medication can produce signs of abnormal behaviour. Was the incarceration intended to satisfy the argument that she is crazy?
  4. Was it necessary for the DPP to be prosecuting at the magisterial level, an act that is arguably unprecedented?
  5. To have a twenty-three year unemployed with an eleven month suspended criminal charge hanging over her head; what else can we expect to produce but a total schizophrenic?

January 4th, 2018 is exactly ten years to date, when Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves was accused by a female police officer of sexually molesting her. The record shows that she complained to her superiors, nothing was done. She brought a private criminal lawsuit against the Prime Minister. The DPP, Colin Williams intervened and entered a nolle prosequi. Over the past sixteen years, PM Gonsalves has brought and won several defamatory lawsuits against individuals and a radio station. None has gone for trial and he never appeared once inside a witness box.

In 2006, an eleven-year-old boy, a classmate of one of PM Gonsalves’ daughters, pulled a prank by writing her a letter. The boy was suspended and later transferred. The following morning between 6 am and 7 am, his home was ransacked by five policemen.

No one is claiming that Camillo Gonsalves is guilty of the claim of an extramarital relationship with Yugge Farrell but as Minister of Finance, he is obligated to clear his name, but having said nothing after one month is totally disrespectful and contemptuous of the Vincentian citizenry.

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